In recent years a number of historians, political scientists, and sociologists have been searching for a better way of approaching the study of the religious ideas, sentiments, and symbols associated with the life of modern national communities. It has become increasingly evident that the older procedure of making a clear distinction between specifically religious communities and religion on the one hand, and the state and politics on the other, then analyzing the interaction between the two, is no longer sufficient. However, no widely accepted alternative way of viewing the problem has emerged.

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